Gretsch Amps

Executive mods


I haven't used my executive for a while and want to bring it out of retirement but want to have some work done on it first. I contacted Mark about an input stage mod a long time ago so I will have done but wanted to see what folks here have done to fix the tremolo clip and the noisy foots witch problem. Thoughts??


When you get your tremolo sorted out let me know so I can get mine fixed too.


I sold my Executive, but not sure what you mean by tremolo clip. Is it the helicopter sound? I don't recall my footswitch being noisy. But I do remember a reverb hum that never went away. My tech said it was inherent to the design, and the footswitch possibly acted as an antennae. Old news I suppose, because there are old threads here about it.


Paul, I have the same noisy foot switch as you. It is my understanding that FMIC has a recommended solution for it, but I have not yet taken the time to learn what it is. I will do some digging around to see what I can learn and, if I find anything, I will post it here.


I have had to tackle footswitch issues on a couple Fender circuit amps, maybe something will ring a bell for someone. My chats with Mark @ Victoria were ages ago, but I do think he follows Fender BF designs.

This may be stuff everyone knows...

My first comment is the sequence in which Reverb and Tremelo switches are depressed.

Most of us like to have a bit of Reverb, so it is likely that the Reverb switch is always ON. Then, we decide some Trem would be nice, so, Trem ON. Here is the rub, ... to turn Trem OFF without a "pop", you have to switch Reverb OFF first, then Trem, then put Reverb back ON.

I think that is correct, would need to get the footswitch out and do the sequence, but surely there is a need to turn one effect off before the other to eliminate the obnoxious "pop"!

It has to do with the grounding path in the footswitch itself...this noise I describe as a "pop".

If you just use one or the other ON then OFF, no issues per se.

My second observation is that grounding path can be changed easily in most amps.

It can be set such that you will get the same Volume "normal accentuation" switch ON, switch OFF noise all the time, regardless of how much Reverb dialed up, or... if it is working off the Reverb circuit to ground, the more Reverb, the more "normal accentuation" noise during the switch, the less the Reverb setting, the "normal accentuation" switch noise is less. This noise is not the "pop", just inherent to adding that effect into the stream when the switch is depressed.

In this case it is obviously dependent on how much Reverb you like to use, and if you typically just use some, not a lot, it is best to have that grounding path tied back this way. It is quieter.

I haven't had much need for my footswitch as of late, but when I do use it I need to refresh my dance steps. I have wired the CVR both ways to ground, I like the path through the Reverb circuit versus the same, slightly louder, consistent Volume "noise" all the time alternative.

My chats with Ted Weber seemed to suggest all this starts and only pertains to the first round of Fender BF amps and combos. That "2-step" to sequence the Reverb/Trem switches without a "pop" goes a long way back...everybody who copied Fender in some way just included the same.

Once the SF line came out, with the Optical Trem circuit, I think it goes away...


There seems to be a Fender footswitch combined with the Executive. But the circuit of the Executive isn't 100% right for that. Some thing gets swapped along the way. Like swapping the shielding mass on one side or even at two sides (amp and switch). I know Billy Zoom found what it is. He swapped some wires and then had to swap the the switches in the pedal to still match the labels trem & reverb. But that was it. What happens is that you activate a nice antenna for hum and noise when you press the switch. A small design mistake which can be fixed. Maybe Billy can tell us again how it's done but Joe also posted a telephone number once, you can dial to ask an engineer how to fix it. I'm very interested in how to fix it, as I got one myself.

As for the trem clipping: the tube has been set at a wrong base level. So the sinewave wobble of the trem hits a ceiling. It results in the typical motorboat bob-bob-bob sound when there is no music. I was told it isn't easy to fix that. I expected to find a potmeter you could trim but I got two bobbing Victorias without adjustable level.


When I did Curt's, I converted the Reverb to active switching and changed the Tremolo from optical to bias type. Then I removed the high pass filters so the amp had some bottom. He didn't send me the footswitch with the amp so I never heard the original problem,but the way I did it, any footswitch will work silently, shielded cable or not.


thanks Billy! that was exactly what i was looking for!!!!


I was hoping to find the simple amateur option again. Something with switching the cables at the pedal tip and the switch knobs in the pedal. The BZ method is best but I guess that might be a bit too difficult for me.


Amature here. I have the same problem. Is this a simple mod as Billy Z suggests? Sound like that you have to get under the hood big time, electonically speaking. I just disconnect the foot switch and use my stomp boxes. As Geoff_Vane says, it sounds a bit difficult and expensive.

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